It’s the Economy Stupid

NOTE: This story first appeared on The Huffington Post.

Last week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced its latest gimmick — Operation Scheduled Departure, a pilot program of voluntary deportation with no precedent, no incentives, and essentially no sensible basis. Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a “think tank” that has been referred to as a “thinly disguised anti-immigration organization,” published a highly contested study claiming that severe enforcement measures are driving down the US’ “likely undocumented” immigrant population. Yet while ICE runs in circles, rounding up undocumented workers as CIS pats them on the back, the government fails to recognize that undocumented immigration is based more on the economics of survival than the politics of immigration enforcement–a costly misjudgment.

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